“The flour is almost getting spoilt, so we are thinking that it should be given or sold away to prominent people in the district so that they don’t get spoilt. When we need them, we shall get the food back because at the moment, the quarantine centers are empty,” Dr Okello says.
But Dr Geoffrey Okello, the Acting Medical Superintendent at Kitgum General Hospital says the health workers stopped reporting to the facility almost a week ago, after indicating that they intended to conduct immunization and other activities in Padwong.
It’s reported that a police officer who was guarding the facility fired multiple shots in the air in an attempt to scare off a motorist after an altercation for allegedly riding past 6 pm. The sound of gunshots evoked fear and panic among the suspects at the centre, forcing them to flee for dear lives.
Initially, the district COVID-19 task force halted plans to equip the treatment centre after the Health Ministry directed that all COVID-19 positive patients are treated at regional referral hospitals. Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, in particular, has been managing COVID-19 patients within the Acholi Sub-region.
The Kitgum Municipality Mayor Walter Tooroma says assessments conducted by Ministry of Health on the health center for the past two months has given a negative rating, an indicator that it has not been not fully operational.
Charles Byamugisha Maserino, the Sector Intelligence Officer for Kitgum and Lamwo districts noted that Lamwo district officials have requested to relocate some suspects to Kitgum due to space challenges.
The taskforce had initially identified the ART clinic for Adolescent HIV/AIDs counselling at Kitgum General Hospital as an isolation centre but later begun grading a different site for the establishment of the unit. The two sites were soon abandoned for not meeting the required standards and likely hefty cost implication.
Martin Jacan Gwokto, Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer also the Covid-19 Taskforce Resource Mobilization Chairperson disclosed on Wednesday that a total of shillings 1,484,981,390 billion is required to facilitate their operation.
Their fears have been compounded by stringent directives by the government that have since seen a ban on public transport, monthly markets, bars, and shops selling non-food items among others. These were some of the measures taken by the government to control the spread of the disease which has so far killed 42,361 people across the world. At least 44 people have so far tested positive for the deadly disease in Uganda.